Steam Deck: A welcome surprise from Valve, with a catch

What has Half-Life 3 been carrying for so long?

Yes, Valve fed us last year a sequel based on virtual reality (VR), Half-Life Alyx, which was sincerely innovative in the virtual reality scene. But other than that, Valve insists on not drawing a proper conclusion to the much-loved series.

We were all wondering why this was, and at least one of the reasons for the lack of a true HL sequel has been revealed recently. It seems that the PC gaming giant has been more or less concerned not with the software but with the hardware. And this hardware is really a beast, if you don’t choose to buy its input iteration, that is.

Mobile games are the best

One of the worst things about mobile games is the lack of tactile feedback. Some prefer it that way, especially Generation Z when it comes to the popular PubG Mobile and many other games that have proven time and time again that a touch-based non-tactile input model is very viable.

But as a member of Gen X, I grew up satisfied with the feedback I received from the buttons on my PlayStation controllers, PC keyboards, GameBoys, and all the other products. So good tactile feedback is what makes the game a game for me.

This is where Steam Deck comes into play.

Nintendo has achieved unprecedented success with its Switch, which is now four years old and has recently achieved a half-baked upgrade. But everyone knows that owning a Switch is a bad thing in the portfolio if you take into account the famous “Nintendo tax”, which involves the premium charged by the Japanese company for the same product compared to other platforms. The Switch version of any existing game is usually sold at high prices.

I also own Switch and, like any Switch owner, it is my duty to swear to complain about the high prices of the eShop.

Again, this is where Valve comes into play.

Steam Deck’s hand is seen in front of a laptop (credit: Valve)

Steam Deck is designed to be very switchable, so potential converts feel right at home when they buy it. A large screen in the middle, touch buttons, analog sticks and other buttons on the sides. Both trackpads and back buttons are an advantage.

What makes Steam Deck so appealing is the fact that it can run literally any Steam game in the library, directly from its internal drive and with the ability to play in both handheld and docked mode. What’s good about the Steam market is that it’s usually the cheapest option to buy any game, so all those games you’ve bought during Steam discounts will be ready to be played on this monster of a device. I think it’s appropriate to call him a “monster,” because he’s apparently a total beast when it comes to muscle. With an 8-wire 4-wire AMD Zen 2 chipset that makes use of the Taiwanese manufacturer’s RDNA 2 graphics and operates at a clock speed of 2.4 GHz to 3.5 GHz and a RAM memory of 16 GB makes it a total power. When you consider what Nintendo has achieved in both graphics fidelity and gaming capability with outdated hardware on the Switch, it won’t come as a surprise to be able to enjoy some quality quality gaming for PCs on the go.

Still, as with many things in life, the story has another side, and it’s a bit gloomy.

Enter the eMMC

The Steam Deck will be sold in three models, the $ 399 64GB input model, the $ 529 mid-level 256GB, and the $ 612GB $ 612.

Steam Deck Purchase Options (Credit: Valve)
Steam Deck Purchase Options (Credit: Valve)

The mid-level model seems to offer the best experience and the higher-level model the best experience you’ll have with your device.

But unfortunately, the only problem with the input model is not the meager 64GB of storage. If you don’t play heavy games in storage, such as Call of Duty Warzone, which requires a whopping 175GB to install (except for endless upgrades that usually exceed 20GB, of course), it’s possible that you live with that. But the type of storage offered by the input device is so unfortunate that you will probably lose your temper from time to time.

EMMC is a painfully slow type of storage. The theoretical limit for eMMC storage is 400 MB per second, but please take it very seriously here. There is no doubt that most buyers will not be able to enjoy these speeds in an eMMC, especially during the game and in demanding titles or during multitasking.

I sincerely wish Valve could grant budget-conscious NVMe SSDs super fast drives in the input model, just as they did with the higher-spec ones.

I can only understand the difficulty of buying even the mid-level model for $ 130 more than the base model, which lives in a country with a normally unstable currency and imposes relatively high taxes on imported technology. So waiting for a very possible price drop will be a good idea for now and given the fact that the world is still taking off from the effects of the chip crisis, the Steam Deck probably won’t be that easy to find anyway. , just like the endless impossibility of finding a PlayStation 5 not in the hands of scalpers. Valve is currently making reservations for Steam Deck for the Steam market, but only users with accounts in the US, Canada, EU and UK can make a reservation for the device, which is expected to start shipping in December. of this year.

Valve’s good surprise is welcome, as the device they will sell is based on the cheapest PC gaming market in history. The device is set to be a much cheaper and much more capable Nintendo Switch, so the outlook is high. But as for the only advice I can give, if possible: maybe consider waiting for a price drop to buy the Steam Deck and stay away from the eMMC model for the sake of your mental well-being, waiting for load content. it can cause severe exhaustion over time. I’m pretty sure Valve did some optimization as to how eMMC storage will handle things and all, but it’s still a very old storage technology that technically isn’t able to meet the needs of the most modern games. . We look forward to seeing how the entry-level Steam Deck will work, but of course the day is important for SSDs to be important. Will we be able to enjoy the scary corridors of Black Mesa in a third iteration of the Half-Life series on Steam Deck itself? Well, we may have to wait a little longer, as Valve makes us control our expectations.

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